Interesting. I just replaced my Denon 1905 (previous year version of the 1906) because it has been in the shop for a month with no end in site. I only had the receiver for 14 months before it crapped out, so that kind of soured me on Denon.
I ended up getting the Yamaha HTR-5960, which is basically the same as the RX-V659. The only difference between the two is the 659 has a second zone (my Denon had that - never used it) and a 12v trigger. It looked like the best bang for the buck.
If the Pioneer 1015 were still available, I would have probably gone for that, but I didn't like the 1016. Do a search, but the consensus seems to be the 1015 was a much better receiver than the 1016, and Pioneer crippled the new model so it wouldn't compete as well against their lowest Pioneer Elite model.
Another one to add to your list is the Marantz SR-4001, which was just announced last week and should be available soon. If it had been available now, I very well may have got it. The Marantz doesn't have as many bells and whistles as some of the others, but their signal processing is top notch. For that matter, check out the previous model, the SR-4600. From all the reviews I've read, it's a great entry level receiver and I've seen them on E*** for under $300.